Would you? An open letter to future guardians…

The other night my husband and I were discussing the necessity of finding a loving home for our son if a tragedy ever struck. Who would be willing to change life as they know it? Who would love him and care for him as we would? It’s depressing to think about but it’s also reality.

Dear beloved friend or family member,

We would like to ask you to be our son’s guardians in the event something happen to us. You can definitely decline if you so choose, and before you decide we’d like to let you know what you’d be getting yourselves into.

Caring for him is not an easy task and can often times be exhausting. There will be sleepless nights, hectic days, and moments filled with so much worry and anxiety that you will be succumbed to tears in your room. The nights of interrupted sleep will not lead to a nap the following day. You will still need to chauffeur him to therapy appointments and take mental notes of new exercises to perform on him throughout the week. You will not be able to rest when and if he decides to nap for you. There will be appointments to coordinate, social worker to call, and insurance companies to follow up with. Oh, and let’s not forget housework, laundry, other children, and your social life that is virtually nonexistent.

There also may be days where you do not get in a shower and quite possibly may be wearing the same clothes from the previous day. At 3:00pm you might realize that you have not brushed your hair or your teeth and pray that no one notices. Speaking of praying, you will also become very close to God, Jesus Christ, or any other higher power of your choice; you’re going to need it. Praying for health and healing for him will be a daily ritual and sometimes begging for the strength to get through another day will be top of your prayer list.

You will also need to be strong and brave. Strong enough not to slap someone who stares at him or whispers and points in your direction. Brave enough to hold your head high and not let anyone pity you or him. Strong, brave, and proud are definitely requirements of you. You will need to be proud of the little boy he is, and embrace all of him.

You will be required to celebrate every accomplishment that he makes. He has not yet sat on his own or uttered a word, but you better believe that when he does there will be a large party in his honor. Get ready to be patient, progress is slow. You will marvel at how he continues to work hard with fierce determination and never gives up. Not only is he one of the greatest sources of heartache in our lives but he is the ultimate source of happiness. When he smiles you will feel so much joy. Not kidding, there is definitely a piece of heaven in his smile. He smiles with his entire being and means it, there’s no faking it with him. When he laughs you will forget all of your worries and thank God for that moment. You will set aside your list of “wants” from God and simply be thankful.

He loves unconditionally and without expectations, and that is what we require of you. Hug him, kiss him, cheer him on, never give up, and love him beyond measure.

This may be the greatest challenge of your life and one that you would never regret. You will learn more about yourselves and others than you ever imagined. You will learn what it truly means to love and be loved. Unfortunately, you will also become very familiar with disappointment and grief, but his smile will trump that any day.

We realize that we are asking you to choose something that no parent would wish for themselves or their child. This may be one of the greatest responsibilities anyone will ever request of you, and in our eyes, the utmost gift.

*We can talk about the “package deal” (2 big brothers) another time.